"Sing and rejoice . . . I am coming to dwell among you!" (Zechariah 2:14)
There was a time that I hated singing. I rolled my eyes to think “singing was praying twice,”and didn’t rejoice as I sang, either. Then I experienced praise and worship while on a retreat in high school.
It was thrilling. A spiritual "high." Singing became a way for me to pray, especially in Adoration.
I attended more praise and worship nights before the Blessed Sacrament through college. Prayer continued in silence after the music ended. In that silence, I found peace and hope lasting long after the spiritual "high."
Now these years later, I know praise and silence are parts of the same conversation with our Lord. Today’s First Reading echoes this. After the singing, Zechariah urged the people, "Silence . . . in the presence of the Lord, who stirs forth . . ." (Zechariah 2:17).
This image of the Lord stirring forth is exciting, like waiting on Christmas as we are now. I feel hope, expectation, and wonder at what He is already doing.
And yet, it is in quiet prayer I remember God’s promises and watch for His movement in my life. He waits for me there, in the silence.
It is there I surrender. I give my life to Jesus: the joy, worry, and doubts. He takes what I offer, accepts my "fiat" (Luke 1:38), and begins His holy work in my life. I find that more thrilling than the praise nights. Being silent in the Lord's presence also grounds me in His promises, keeping me from being swept up in the busyness of life.
The Lord moves forth, sisters. So soon we’ll celebrate (singing joyous carols!) when He came to dwell among us. In His presence, I wait . . . and rejoice at the good He does in my life.
A great book to bring to Adoration is this one.
Gina Fensterer finds daily life to be perfect for practicing virtue and sometimes blogs about raising up saints (she has six children). She loves the Jesus prayer, long runs, and coffee at any time of day. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.